Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities
in Poland, Volume VII


51°25' / 21°09'

Translation of “Radom” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


Project Coordinator

Ada Holtzman z”l

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to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume VII, pages 530-543. Published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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(Radom District, Kielce Province)

(93.2 kilometers S of Warsaw)

By Daniel Blatman

Translated from Hebrew by Alex P. Korn

A message from the translator Alex P. Korn:

I dedicate this translation to the memory of my mother's family,
who fled to Radom from their hometown of Dzialoszyn at the outset of the war,
and were later sent to the death camps (probably Treblinka).
My mother's father: Faivish Lapides, h"yd
My mother's mother: Shprintze nee Urbach Lapides, h"yd
My mother's brothers and sisters h"yd:
Moshe, Boruch, Yehuda-Leib, Leah, Rivkah, Nacha, and Feygelle Lapides.


Community History 530- 531
Radom Jewry until WWI 531- 533
The Jews Between the Two World Wars 534- 538
During the Second World War 538- 543
 September 1939 to Summer 1942 538- 541
 The End of the Jews of Radom 541- 543

Population Figures


[Pages 538-541]

During the Second World War

September 1939 to Summer 1942

The Germans bombed Radom right at the outbreak of war because in and around the city there were several industrial plants for the production of military equipment and ammunition for the Polish army. Many houses, both of Polish and Jewish townspeople, were damaged by the explosions, and there were also fatal casualties. On the 6th of September the Polish army withdrew from the city and from the surrounding region while many of the city's administrators, as well as not a few of the town's Jews, left as well. Activists of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) then set up a citizens' council in order to administer the city. Included in this council were several Jewish public figures: Yaakov Goldberg, Ignatz Goldberg and Yishaya Eiger. There were also some Jews recruited into the civilian militia that was created by the citizens' council.

At the time of the battles, members of Kibbutz Hachshara, the preparatory commune for Aliyah, “BaHazit” ("at the Front"), which belonged to HaShomer HaTza'ir - about 120 young men and women - were forced to vacate one of their houses in order to provide lodging for Polish soldiers. A suggestion was raised that all members of the commune leave Radom and that they should make their way eastward. They first turned to the central HaShomer HaTza'ir office in Warsaw to ask for instructions, but after 5 days had passed, during which time the Germans had already stationed themselves at the approaches to the city, and, with the instructions being late in coming, the young men and women decided on their own to leave, heading west in the direction of Warsaw.

On the 8th of September, 1939, Radom fell into the hands of the Germans. The conquerors took over all of the city's public buildings and housed their soldiers in them. The commander of the forces in Radom, together with his staff, used the city hall for their lodgings. Several days later, SS units and police also entered the city. Immediately upon their arrival acts of abuse against the Jews, especially against the religious ones, began. Many Jews were grabbed for forced labour. The first labourers were employed at reconstructing the weapons factory that was destroyed during the bombing so that production could be reestablished there for the German army. Other groups of workers were employed with difficult and onerous service work: hauling coal, cleaning the streets, and repairing the roads damaged during the battles, and so on.

At the end of September, 1939, the military governor gathered 50 men from among the community's leaders, and appointed them to be a temporary council for the Jews of Radom. At the head of the council were Yaakov Goldberg and Yosef Diamant. In October, 1939, two of the community activists, Moshe Bluman and Moshe Boim, were ordered to present to the Germans lists of the city's Jews according to their ages and professions.

On Rosh HaShana and on Yom Kippur 5700 (September-October, 1939) SS men entered the synagogues and the shtiebels and took out the worshipers for work details all around the city. The last leader of the Jewish community before the war, Yona Zylberberg, was dragged by the Germans in the streets and beaten within sight of passers-by, while they murdered the teacher, Chaim Shlomo Waks. Subsequent to the removal of the worshipers from the prayer houses, the Germans took out the sacred articles and the holy books and desecrated them, shooting into the synagogues and destroying the furniture and furnishings.

At the beginning of October, 1939, the new German mayor, Schwizgabel, imposed upon the city's Jews a “contribution” of 300,000 zlotys and 10,000 marks. The Jewish council prepared lists of those obligated to pay, but succeeded in collecting only 200,000 zlotys and 10,000 marks. At the end of that month an additional contribution was exacted, but the local governor, Dr. Karl Lasch, agreed to exchange it for 1,000 sets of linen and cots that the Jewish tailors would prepare for the SS men who lodged in the city. The leaders of the Jewish council, Yosef Diamant, Moshe Landau, Hillel Goldberg and Itche Green, traveled to Lódz and brought back from there the cloths and the necessary sewing items, and, in a short time, the required quota was filled.

Towards the end of October the Germans began to seize control of the Jews' properties. Jewish businesses were expropriated for the benefit of the Reich, and German administrators were appointed over them. Many of the business owners still continued to work in their businesses in exchange for a token wage.

In December, 1939, an SS commander, Fritz Katzmann, and the local police arrived in Radom. Immediately afterward a notice was published concerning the preparations for a Judenrat. The first Judenrat, consisting of 24 members, was also the main Judenrat for the entire region (“Oberjudenrat”), and the city's chairman, Yosef Diamant, was also the chairman of that local Judenrat. The offices of the Judenrat were located in the community hall. According to a census taken at the beginning of 1940, there were about 280,000 Jews residing in the Radom region.

On the first of July, 1940, all the property of the Jews in the region was transferred to the German administrative office (“Treuhandstele”), which was headed by Felix Weinopfel. The Judenrat of Radom was made responsible for the administration of the Jews' property for the German administrative office, for the collection of rent payments on Jewish apartments, the maintenance of structures which the Germans requisitioned, and so on. Also, after December, 1940, when a regulation was enforced that forbade Jews to use public transportation, the Judenrat was authorized to issue travel permits to the members of the Judenrat and to the region's Jewish civil workers that would allow them to travel on public transit. On December 1, 1941, Radom's regional governor gave the instruction to the heads of the region's Judenrat to issue special travel permits in order that they would be able to come to Radom for meetings between Diamant and members of the local Judenrat.

In the winter of 1941/1942, the Judenrat of Radom was ordered to transmit exacting instructions to the heads of the Judenrats in the region to prepare maps of the ghettos and up-to-date lists of their residents, indicating their ages and professions. In the Judenrat of Radom a special department was established whose function was to maintain contact with the region's Judenrats. There was also a Department of Justice which was headed by the lawyer, Leon Sytner; a Department for Commerce and Labour which was responsible for the Jewish workshops; a Department of Documentation and Registration which, when necessary, provided Jews with exit passes and certificates to travel in the city during curfew hours (in exchange for these special certificates the Germans collected from the Judenrat 200 zlotys per certificate). The central department of the Judenrat, the Department of Labour, provided the Germans with forced labour workers. At first it was headed by Y. Worcman. In the first months of the occupation the Germans demanded about 80-100 workers each and every day, but later they increased the daily quota to 500-600 people.

At first the recruitment for work was administered in an arbitrary manner. Jews were kidnaped in the streets and from their homes and were sent to work in the city and in the surrounding areas. The Judenrat made an effort to arrange the work egresses in an orderly fashion and to organize the workers. After some months Joachim Geiger, a glazier by trade, was added to the Ministry of Labour, and he established good relations with the SS command in the city so much so that he was soon made the administrator for the Ministry of Labour. In the summer of 1940, Geiger was put in charge of the entire system of forced labour of the Jews in Radom and in its vicinity, and the Department of Labour became an independent department which was subservient directly to the Labour Office of the local government. At the end of that year the department had already supplied 1,000 Jewish forced labourers each and every day. In Radom, as well as in other places, forced labourers were recruited from among the poorest; those with means could free themselves from work in exchange for a levy, which served the Judenrat with which to pay wages to the forced labourers (2-10 zlotys for one day's work).

In the spring of 1940, with the blessings of the Judenrat, the Kraków-based JSS (Jewish Self Aid Organization: Judische Soziale Selbsthilfe) set up in Radom a branch which took upon itself the responsibility for welfare and assistance activities in the city and environs. At the head of the Radom branch of the JSS was Abraham Zalba, who was a member of Radom's Judenrat and also a member of the central JSS administration. He was aided in his JSS activities by three assistants and 10 clerks. The Radom branch of the JSS opened several public kitchens: one in the Glinice suburb where every day about 1,200 meals were distributed, a second kitchen next to the synagogue where each day 2,500 meals were distributed, and a third kitchen on Rowanska Street. The price per meal was a token 20 grósz, but children and those lacking the means were exempt from paying. In July, 1940, the JSS established three additional kitchens which were intended for children only. Free meals were distributed there every day to 400 children between the ages of 4 and 10.

In April, 1940, the Germans carried out widespread arrests among the left wing party activists in Radom. Thirty-two men, most of them Jews, were summoned to report to the Gestapo offices in the city, but only 18 of them appeared. They were imprisoned in the local jail and after a few days were taken outside of the city and shot to death.

In the summer of 1940, the Judenrat began to recruit workers who were intended to be sent to labour camps in the Lublin region. On the twentieth of August, 1940, the first group of one thousand workers went there. The Judenrat took it upon itself to take care of the Jews in the camps and sent them packages of food and clothing. In the fall of 1940 the Judenrat spent seventy-five thousand zlotys to aid the Jews of Radom who worked in the Lublin area camps. People were also able to free themselves from this recruitment in exchange for a levy of 400 zlotys for the Judenrat treasury.

In December, 1940, the governor of the General Gouvernment, Hans Frank, gave the order to deport from Radom ten thousand Jews to other locales in the region. The Judenrat set up a special council of delegates which made efforts with the authorities to minimize the number of deportees, and its representatives traveled to various towns in the region in an effort to locate the places from where the deportees would be collected. On the 18th of December, 1940, based on lists that were prepared by the Judenrat, 1,840 of the first Jews were deported.1) Each deported family received from the Judenrat 300 zlotys for expenses. In accordance with the demand of the Gestapo, included in the first deportation were families with many children, the elderly and the sick who could not be part of the labour force. In January, 1941, the Germans demanded the deportation of an additional 2,000 Jews, but the second deportation was delayed for technical reasons, and in the end it was not carried out.

At about the same time, Jews who had been deported from Kraków and other places were brought into Radom. Based on the Judenrat records, about 2,000 refugees from Kraków came at the beginning of December, and in the spring of 1941 hundreds of deportees from Przytyk and other towns were added. In spite of efforts by the Judenrat to give assistance to the refugees and to locate places for them to live, they suffered from the difficult conditions and from the lack of sustenance in the difficult winter months. In the spring of 1941, a short time before the ghettos in Radom were established, there were about thirty-two thousand Jews in Radom.

At the beginning of 1941, the Germans distributed to the Jews new identity certificates which were different in colour from those of the Polish residents. In March, 1941, an announcement was made concerning the establishment of two ghettos: one within the city and the second, the smaller of the two, in the suburb of Glinice. On the first of April, 1941, a week before the ghettos were created, the Judenrat was ordered to set up a Jewish “police service”. The head of the Labour Department, Joachim Geiger, was appointed to be in command, and his lieutenant was the lawyer, Leon Sytner, a deportee from Kalisz. The announcements that were posted in the streets called upon young Jewish men of 21 and above who had served in the Polish army to join the police force. This body was divided into two departments which served in the two ghettos. The policemen were equipped with red berets and yellow armbands on which was written “Jewish Police Force” in Polish and in German. A jail was also set up for the imprisonment of people who shirked their required labour duty or of those who were caught committing various crimes in the ghetto. Some time before the closing of the ghettos, a proclamation was made obliging Jews to wear armbands with a Magen David star. 2)

On the 7th of April, 1941, the ghettos were closed. In the large ghetto, which was located in the old quarter of the city, about twenty-seven thousand Jews resided. About 5,000 people were transferred into the smaller ghetto located in the suburb. The ghettos were not surrounded with walls; the houses on their perimeters designated the ghetto borders. In the large ghetto 13 gates were built, and Jewish policemen armed with rubber batons, as well as Polish policemen, were stationed at the gates. At the main entrance on the corner of Wawel and Lubelski Streets, a wall was built with three openings for pedestrians and for vehicles. At all the gates were affixed signs with the inscription: “Danger of Contagious Diseases: Entry Forbidden”.

The living conditions in the two ghettos were not identical. The ghetto in the Glinice suburb was less crowded, and the living conditions there were easier, but most of the Jews preferred to reside in the larger ghetto where all of the Judenrat aid and welfare institutions were located. Upon moving into the ghettos the Judenrat reorganized its departments. The Supply Department was expanded and became responsible for food warehousing, and the supplies were taken out of the city hall. In the spring of 1941 the Judenrat received only 1.5 kilograms of flour per person per month. The members of the Supply Department, Moshe Leslau, Yosef Stelman, Yeshaya Eiger, Yosef Blas and Hillel Goldberg, made great efforts to obtain additional supplies. And, indeed, after some time, grits, sugar, salt, oil and jam were sent to the ghetto. The department distributed special food cards to the ghetto residents, but the distribution of food was not orderly nor was it even equitable. In spite of this, there were no instances of hunger nor of mass death in the ghettos of Radom; living conditions were reasonable in comparison with those in other ghettos. In fact, in the years 1941-1942, upon the recommendations of their family members in Radom, not a few Jews from Warsaw came to Radom in the hope of improving their situation.

In June, 1941, the Germans instructed the Judenrat to update the lists of residents. The Department of Records, under the directorship of Yaakov Fishbein, compiled name cards of the ghetto residents according to age, sex and profession. The department endeavoured also to locate and to record the thousands of refugees that flowed into Radom. They even recorded the beasts of burden and the carts that were in the ghetto.

An additional department that was set up during the ghetto period was the Mail Department. It was headed by Isaac Brawerman and it distributed mail which arrived at the municipal post office to the Jews in the ghetto. It also dealt with the exchange of monies which were sent to the residents of the ghetto (until that was forbidden).

At the end of March, 1941, the Judenrat decided to open a Jewish school for the children of the two ghettos and called upon the parents to register their children. Within a short time about 2,000 children were registered, but the Germans refused to give their permission to the opening of a school. In the end, the ghetto residents were forced to be content with informal and very limited educational activities. Young men and women who were graduates of the Jewish high school in Radom and teachers residing in the ghetto gathered the children of kindergarten age and organized playing and reading groups for them. In November, 1941, several of the engineers and technicians initiated the opening of courses for professional development: for carpentry, machinery, etc. with the aim of enabling the ghetto's Jewish youth to participate in the work within and outside the ghetto. Most of the courses took place in the Glinice ghetto.

Not all the Jewish institutions for relief and welfare were contained within the ghetto precincts. While the Jewish hospital was situated in the large ghetto, the orphanage and the home for the aged - two of the most important institutions - remained outside. Also, the Christian home for the aged and insane asylum were contained within the large ghetto. The Judenrat's Health Department, under the directorship of Dr. Szenderowicz, operated two hospitals, one in each ghetto, and it also had two ambulances. Since April, 1940, the Jewish hospital in Radom had already been reorganized for the new conditions: The departments for contagious diseases and for intestinal illnesses were expanded; and a dental clinic, a disinfection room and a X-ray clinic were also opened. The Germans instructed that all Jewish sick people who were hospitalized in the general hospital were to be transferred to the Jewish hospital, and, later, when the large ghetto was created, the Jewish hospital together with its equipment was transferred there. Its long-time administrator, Dr. Kleinberger, remained in his position. Until the fall of 1942, 3,000-4,000 people were hospitalized in the Jewish hospital, and many more were treated in their homes by the hospital doctors and nurses because of the shortage of space in the hospital.

In February, 1942, the Germans carried out the first akcja - “aktion” in the ghetto. About 40 people, most of them former activists of the leftist parties, were arrested and sent to Auschwitz. On the 28th of April an additional aktion was carried out in the Radom ghetto, which earned the name, “Bloody Wednesday”. The Germans' goal was to eliminate the leaders and other people who were able to organize opposition as a preventative measure ahead of the imminent deportation of Radom's Jews to the extermination camps. In the morning of that day SS men came to the ghetto with a list of names in their hands and took out the wanted men from their homes. Some of them were murdered at the entrances of their homes; the others were transported to the local prison. Among the arrested were Bund activists and past members of the Communist Party, as well as the Judenrat head, Yosef Diamant, three of his senior aides, the commandant of the Jewish police and about 20 policemen. All of them were deported to Auschwitz and found their deaths there. The first Judenrat in Radom was effectively dismantled.

After the aktion of April, 1942, persistent rumors were spread in the ghetto that the deportation of the remaining Jews was imminent. The demand for work placements grew because the ghetto residents regarded the holding of a work certificate as a door to redemption. The most desirable places to work were the Wytwórnia armaments factories, the workshops for the repair of SS automobiles, and various “Szopie” ("Shops") that were set up in the ghetto for producing articles for the German army. In the spring of 1942, the “Shops” employed about 300 workers.

[Pages 541-543]

The End of the Jews of Radom

At the beginning of the summer of 1942, the head of the SS and the Lublin region police and the head of staff of “Operation Reinhardt”, Odilo Glubocnik, sent the SS captain, (Sturmbannfuehrer) Wilhelm Blum to Radom, making him responsible for the planning and execution of the deportation of the Jews from the city and its vicinity. Blum, who already had acquired experience in the organizing of mass deportations in other locales, was appointed to the SS staff and the police in Radom. The direct responsibility for the operation was assigned to the SS captain with the rank of Untersturmfuehrer, Franz Schipers, from the police headquarters in Radom. In May, 1942, the Germans demanded that the Jewish Labour Department send groups of workers to the Korona factory to empty it of the old equipment, with the goal of turning the structures into giant warehouses. At about the same time the Judenrat made the engineer, Marek Koifman, responsible for the preparing of detailed maps for the Germans of the streets in the two ghettos of Radom, and to indicate in the maps the houses belonging to Jews, the equipment stores and the workshops, as well as the other places and structures that were important to the Germans.

On the fourth of August, 1942, late in the evening, the Jewish policemen were called to the police headquarters where several captains of the SD and the police instructed them to prepare all the males in the Glinice ghetto for their transfer to labour camps. In the meantime SS men surrounded the small ghetto in the suburb, and at midnight the Jewish policemen took out all the residents from their homes and instructed them to present themselves for an inspection of work permits. Owners of valid certificates were sent to Kuszno Street, and the others were taken to Graniczna Street. At this stage the Jewish policemen were joined by the SS men, who mistreated the deportees and even killed many of them. Wilhelm Blum, Paul Fuchs, Paul Feucht, and especially Franz Schipers supervised the deeds of cruelty. About 60 Jews were killed on that night, about 1,000 workers with permits were transferred to the large ghetto, and the remaining, about 4,000, were transported from the Glinice ghetto to the train station.

In order to fill the predetermined quota the SS captain, Paul Feucht, instructed that another 2,000 Jews from the large ghetto be added to the deportees, so on the 5th of August 6,000 Jews were sent from Radom to Treblinka.

Immediately after the small ghetto was emptied of its inhabitants Feucht instructed the Jewish police to remove the bodies of those who were killed from the streets and houses. The Judenrat sent carts from the large ghetto to Glinice in order to gather the corpses and to bring them to the large ghetto. However, the bodies were returned later to the suburb of Glinice, apparently by order of the Germans. About 100 young men holding work permits were sent to the suburb and were ordered to bury those who had been killed in mass graves which were dug next to the Lenz factory. When they completed the burial work the workers were taken to the ghetto and were ordered to gather the property of the deportees and to store it in the precincts of the Korona factory which had been emptied for that purpose.

After the deportation from Glinice a great panic spread in the large ghetto. Many tried to find places to hide in the Polish sector of the city, and others prepared hiding places for themselves within the ghetto. There were some who tried to smuggle children to peasants in the surrounding villages.

With the passing of a few days it was the turn of the residents of the large ghetto. On the evening prior to the deportation, workers of the Electrical Company installed strong searchlights at central locations within the ghetto. In the morning of the next day, the 16th of August, 1942, the deportation of the Jews from the large ghetto began. All gates of the ghetto were sealed, and the area was encompassed by the German policemen and Ukrainian auxiliary forces. The Jews were ordered to pack a suitcase that was not too large with food for three days as well as money and valuables. On the night of the 17th of August, the staff of the Jewish police was summoned to the headquarters to receive orders. Feucht commanded them to concentrate the deportees in the Stare Miasto (Old Town) Square. A little after midnight a selection was carried out. Those intended for deportation waited next to the Jewish police building, while those with work permits were assembled next to the gate to the Jewish hospital, where the SS men separated them into two groups. People whose permits were not acceptable to the Germans were returned to the open space in front of the police building, and those remaining, about 1,800 in number, were transported to the grounds of the leather processing factory, Gelka. At 1 a.m. the Germans and the Jewish police began searching the houses, and those who were caught hiding were shot on the spot.

At sunrise the workers of the Gelka factory were lodged in apartments on Szwarlikowska Street which had been emptied of their residents. The remaining ghetto residents were transported in the morning to the train station under the heavy guard of SS men and a Ukrainian auxiliary force and were crowded into the cargo cars and were sent to Treblinka. The deportation of the 17th of August, 1942, affected the vast majority of the Radom ghetto residents, 20,000 men, women and children. About 400 Jews were killed by the Germans on that night during the course of gathering the deportees.

The Germans picked out a small group from among the Jews that remained in Radom for work and sent them to dig mass graves in the grounds of the Lenz factory. When the excavation work was completed, fifty patients from the Jewish hospital were brought there and were taken out to be killed at the edge of the pits. About 200 of the Jewish workers were recruited to gather and sort the abandoned Jewish property in the Stare Miasto Square. Part of the property was sold or distributed for free to Polish residents of Radom. In the main, articles of value - expensive furniture, work tools, etc. - were collected to be stored in the Korona warehouses. In the warehouses groups of young women were employed for sorting the housewares and the clothes which were gathered from the homes of the deportees. The property of Jews from neighbouring villages who were deported to Treblinka were also brought to “Korona”.

After the aktions of August, 1942, there still remained in Radom about 2,000 Jewish workers and their family members (about one quarter of them children) who were lodged in the small ghetto. With them were also 300 policemen with their families and three members of the Judenrat: Dr. Ludwig Fesman, Dr. Ziebner, and Dr. Nachum Szenderowicz. The Germans appointed Fesman as head of the Judenrat in the small ghetto. A short time after the deportation Dr. Ziebner and his wife committed suicide after they were investigated by the Gestapo officers and were accused of smuggling their children from the ghetto and hiding them with Poles in the city. Leon Jumes 3) filled Dr. Ziebner's post on the Jewish council. In January, 1943, Ludwig Fesman was arrested by the Germans and sent to Auschwitz, and his place as head of the Judenrat was filled by the last Judenrat head, Dr. Szenderowicz, who served for an extended period of time. In May, 1943, Gestapo men arrested the last members of the Judenrat and its clerks and transported them to the labour camp next to Wolanów, and there they were all killed.

After they were taken out to be killed, the commandant of the Jewish police, Leon Sytner, was appointed as head of the Judenrat.4) The small ghetto was turned into a labour camp for all intents and purposes, and a sign on the entrance gate announced: “Forced Labour Camp”. Residents of the camp were subject to the supervision of the SS All the workers who stayed in the camp by law were registered anew and received worker numbers that were stamped into their identity cards. In addition, there were also in the precincts of the camp several hundred Jews who had fled during the aktions, hid in the city or in the neighbouring villages and, when the aktions had ended, returned secretly to the ghetto. The living conditions in the place were like those of a labour camp. The workers rose early in the morning at 5:00 a.m., and, after breakfast, presented themselves at the gate of the camp and went out to work. During the day, only the Judenrat bureaucrats and policemen, the public kitchen workers, women and children remained in the ghetto. The police staff arranged the departures for work. Once every 10 days food rations were distributed to the workers: 200 grams of bread for one day, 10 grams of sugar, 25 grams of jam and sometimes also a piece of soap. Before departure for work in the morning the workers were given coffee, and in the afternoon they received a bowl of soup. Through the camp kitchen the people also received from time to time small amounts of meat (20 grams per worker), margarine, potatoes, grits and a small amount of vegetables. Abraham Mentlik administered the kitchen. At the beginning of 1943 a second kitchen was opened in the ghetto for policemen and camp heads, where the quality of the food was improved and the amounts were larger.

The main place of work where the residents of the small ghetto were employed was the armaments factory, “Wytwórnia”. About 1,000 Jews worked there alongside 3,200 Polish workers. An additional group, mainly women, worked in the “Korona” warehouses in sorting the belongings of those who were killed. In the course of time several small workshops for watchmakers, for tailors, carpenters and other craftsmen were also opened for the purpose of repairing and reconditioning the abandoned property. The factories and garages of the Waffen SS also provided employment to 50-100 electricians, machinists and builders who worked at overhauling and repairing cars and vehicles belonging to the SS. About 20 people worked in the armaments factory environs, mainly in maintenance work. Many tailors, shoe stitchers and other craftsmen continued to work in the “Shops”, which were set up in the year of 1942. A group of Jews, men and women, were employed in services of various kinds at army installations, in horse stables and at the SS headquarters. Another 300, approximately, of the residents of the small ghetto were sent to other labour camps in the area: in Wolanów, Ostrowiec, Sochna, Kruszyna, and in several other small places, and were employed there in the kitchen, food warehouses, and in cleaning and maintenance work.

On December 3, 1942, in the morning a guard unit of Ukrainians and a group of SS men entered the small ghetto, under orders of Franz Schipers who was appointed head of the labour camp in Radom. Schipers ordered the Jews to present themselves in groups of five for a census taking and to inspect work permits. About 800 of the ghetto residents were made to march on foot to Szydlowiec, a distance of 30 kilometers from Radom. On the way the Ukrainian guards mistreated them cruelly and killed several of them.

On the 13th of January, 1943, the Jews that were still remaining in the Radom labour camp were brought to the field at Szwarlikowska Street. About 1,600 of them, whose names appeared on the list of those requesting a visa to Eretz Israel or who received permits for Aliyah (immigration) to Israel, were separated from the others and were sent on that very day to Treblinka. This aktion earned the name, “The Palestine Aktion”.

On January 20, 1943, the Germans arrested a group of Jews who were accused of intentional sabotage at work and took them out to be killed. In the months of April and May, 1943, an additional small group, which included some Judenrat leaders, was sent Wolanów and were all killed there.

In May, 1943, 100 Jews were brought to Radom from the concentration camp of Majdanek. They stayed in the labour camp there for a month's duration, and in July, 1943, were sent to Auschwitz.

The labour camp for Jews in Radom continued to exist for several months more, until the eighth of November, 1943. On that day, the Germans took out women, children and old men, who were not able to work anymore, to be killed, while the others were transferred to 20 shacks which were set up earlier on Szkolna Street, about 200 men in each shack. The men were separated from the women, the perimeter of the shacks was fenced in with barbed wire and several guard towers were erected which were manned by SS men. A Jew, Yechiel Friedman, was appointed head of the camp, and he was subservient to the SS commandant whose name was Haker. Within the perimeter of the shacks, which had the appearance of a concentration camp, were held 2,450 men and 400 women, who continued to go out to their work in various places in Radom. This camp existed until June, 1944. On June 265) the residents of the camp were marched on foot to Tomaszów Mazowiecki, and 10 days later were sent from there by train to Auschwitz, together with Jews from other labour camps in the area.

Notes by the translator:

1. My grandparents and three of their youngest children were sent at this time to the ghetto in Koprzywnica, from which they were later transported to Treblinka. Back

2. Identification papers including photographs were made in March-April, 1941. These documents have survived the war and copies can be obtained upon request from the Radom City Hall. Back

3. Pronounced “Yoomiss”. Back

4. It is stated that the last Judenrat head was Dr. Szenderowicz.  But, a few sentences later it says that Leon Sytner was appointed as head of the Judenrat.  I think that Sytner was head not of the ghetto Judenrat but of the forced labour camp after the ghetto was dismantled. Back

5. The date in Pinkas HaKehillot article for the liquidation of the forced labour camp is June 26.  However, in the yizkor books the date is July 26. Back

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